Picture: DAVID KJAER / SOLENT via The Telegraph


Most cuckoos are gorgeous looking birds and the majority of this species actually raise their own young, but it is correct that a few members of the species are in fact brood parasites and will happily lay their eggs in another kind hearted birds nest. It's nothing personal they just can't be bothered to build their own nest and look after their own.

However, it has taking this little fact about a couple of cuckoo species for them all to have been tarred with the same brush. Most people would think that Rosewill Cottage is just a bead shop for jewellery makers and to be fair it is our "Unique Selling Point", at least we have one! It's something we do extremely well and we have worked extremely hard as a team to create links with the local councils, community groups and businesses. It's paid off and we have secured great contracts due to this intensive work. But there is more than meets the eye with this understated bead shop.

Whilst parents are waiting for our jewellery making birthday parties to finish they like to look around our handcrafted gifts and treat themselves. The same can be said when we do our adult jewellery parties at the shop. Since we are a large shop with ample space we invited other handcrafters to contribute to our "Invitation to treat" selection through selling their own wares in our popular Box Clever scheme.

Cuckoos on the High Street

In Mary Portas' review of the high street she mentioned we needed variety on our high streets if they're going to survive and this is something I truly embrace, as the reason Park View is so successful is due to the variety of independant shops.

So it saddens me to see that there are some cuckoos on some high streets throughout the UK who are not willing to play ball and decide to imitate other shops on their own high street and undercut them to add insult to injury. They can't even be brave enough to sit on a level playing field. I think what these shop owners fail to realise, is that this type of behaviour closes nearby shops down so what you end up with is your sorry behind sitting on your own amongst a lot of vacant units or if you're extremely lucky charity shops.

You see when that happens the footfall starts to decrease and the more you imitate and undercut until another retailer you presume to be doing well the more will close and the footfall will decrease. I suppose everything will be alright for them as they will be sitting on there little nest so high in the tree with no one around and no flight skills to try something new.

Mary I'm sorry, but this is the problem with our high streets, sheer greed! It started in the 1950s when convenience stores started closing down the smaller retailers by undercutting the grocers, butchers and bakers. The bigger the supermarkets have got, the worse it has gotten for our high streets. They gobbled up the best of the best products and when they out grew their town centre premises they moved out of town and left the customers of the high street nothing.

The few shops that had stuck it out were left high and dry with no footfall. I suppose I'm in an extremely lucky position that I am a lease holder and can up sticks and take my little nest wherever I would like to away from prying eyes. There are plenty of options for me, I have a gorgeous family to concentrate on and a fantastic job at the University. I suppose I could reduce myself to fight with the same underhand tactics that have been deployed upon me in recent months, by my so called friendly neighbours but that would make me as bad as they are.

So I have chosen to source something to supplement our shop that no one and I mean no one has available in their shop at the moment. It's unique and I've been lucky enough to find someone in the North East who can help me achieve this little masterstroke. So keep your eyes open as Rosewill Cottage is not JUST a bead shop and we're soon to take things to a brand new high street level of cottage industry innovation!!